Trimethylamine, a dietary- and medicinal carnitine-derived amine, is extensively metabolized by liver to non-malodorous trimethylamine N-oxide. Although trimethylamine and trimethylamine N-oxide under daily dietary consumption or carnitine treatment are generally regarded as nontoxic, they have been, and remain, of toxicological and clinical interest because of their potential association with atherosclerosis. The aim of the current study was to model the pharmacokinetics of trimethylamine after oral administration of trimethylamine in humans and compare the results with reported measured values. Adjusted biomonitoring equivalents from rat studies based on reported plasma concentrations were scaled to human equivalents using known species allometric scaling factors. In vitro metabolic clearance data were obtained using rat and human liver microsomal preparations. Renal clearances in humans for trimethylamine and trimethylamine N-oxide were calculated with a clearance concept approach using reported 24-hr urinary excretion rates and assumed areas under plasma concentration curves. The resulting modeled plasma and urinary concentration curves by simple physiologically based pharmacokinetic models (or semi-physiological pharmacokinetic models) were consistent with reported concentrations. This study provides important information to help simulate human plasma levels of trimethylamine and trimethylamine N-oxide in trimethylamine loading tests and during treatment with prescribed medicinal l-carnitine, showing the similar range as that resulting from daily dietary foodstuff consumption along with little toxicological impacts. The present models could estimate relationship between plasma and urine concentrations of trimethylamine or trimethylamine N-oxide and the daily oral doses by both forward and reverse dosimetry from viewpoint of human risk assessment.
Keywords: Allometric scaling; Human; PBPK modeling; Rat; TMA; TMAO.